Washington: The Trump Campaign has filed a defamatory lawsuit against CNN, accusing the cable news network of making false statements that the campaign "assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table".
After The New York Times and The Washington Post, this is the third lawsuit by the Trump Campaign against a major American media.
Trump, who is seeking his re-election, has often described these three US media outlets as "fake media". The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Atlanta on Friday, seeks to hold CNN accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump's campaign.
The statements by the CNN, were and are 100 per cent false and defamatory, Jenna Ellis, Senior Legal Adviser to Donald J. Trump for President said in a statement. The complaint alleges CNN was aware of the falsity at the time it published them (on its website), but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process.
Further, the campaign, through counsel, sent a written demand to CNN on February 25 to retract and apologize for the false and defamatory statements. CNN refused, so the campaign was left with no alternative but to file suit to publicly establish the truth and seek appropriate remedies, he said.
Ellis said that the campaign filed this lawsuit against CNN and the preceding suits against The New York Times and The Washington Post to hold the publishers accountable for their reckless false reporting and also to establish the truth: that the campaign did not have an agreement, quid pro quo, or collusion with Russia, as the Mueller Report concluded.
The campaign was motivated by the fact that the publications recklessly published false statements which caused harm and intentionally mislead their readers," he said.
False statements are not protected under the US Constitution; therefore, these suits will have no chilling effect on freedom of the press. If journalists are more accurate in their statements and reporting, that would be a positive development," Ellis said.